Nairobi News


American journalist in trouble for calling SA president ‘unidentified leader’ on Twitter

An American journalist faced online criticism at the weekend for failing to recognise South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa in a picture she posted on social media.

Darlene Superville, the White House Reporter for the Associated Press, was forced to later correct the anomaly when she re-posted another Tweet containing the full acknowledgment.

This, however, didn’t stop her from enduring an online backlash for the initial post which showed a photo of President Ramaphosa engaging his French colleague Emmanuel Macron, India Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The leaders were in France for a G7 summit.

Ms Superville appeared at ease in identifying the three other leaders in the picture and even tagged them by their user accounts on the platform. She could only, however, refer to Ramaphosa as an “identified leader”, drawing backlash from mainly African tweeps.


“It’s deeply offensive to all South Africans that you don’t know who our President is. Given your job function, inexcusable. You owe an apology for your sloppiness,” said Clive Simpkins.

“Dear Darlene, the one unidentified leader is the President of the Republic of South Africa, a country located in your ancestral toots continent called Africa. This is where all of you Africans Americans comes from,”  added another Twitter user who only identified herself as Madzendga.

“You should be fired for gross incompetence,” wrote prominent Kenyan lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi.

“She can identify all the white men but she is unaware of the only African and black president in the picture. Shame. Shame,” another user said.

She later made amends.